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Match Preview: Swansea City v Sunderland

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Should Sunderland beat Swansea tonight it puts us within a point of our opposition. To say this is our biggest game of the season thus far would be an understatement.

The win at home to Aston Villa must be followed with a strong performance in South Wales against Swansea tonight. Simply put, a loss tonight could set us back massively.

We're still in with a chance of staying up and anything less than a point tonight just isn’t an option. We need to stay organised and switched on, and keep on our toes whilst looking to push out quickly and break with venom. Defensive mistakes need to be eradicated.

Although Sam Allardyce has told the press that this is a ‘mustn’t lose’ as opposed to being a ‘must win’, you have to feel that he’ll be setting up to win the game tonight. Picking up three points gives us a real chance, whilst a loss could seriously hurt our survival chances.

Match Appointments

Referee: Graham Scott

Assistants: M Mullarkey & M Perry

Fourth Official: P Tierney

Team News

Sunderland

Vito Mannone will return to the side having seen Jordan Pickford make his debut at Arsenal in the cup.

Sunderland's only injury concern is John O'Shea, who was brought off against Arsenal. Though tired legs remain a factor, expect many of the regular faces to be recalled to the starting line-up. Jan Kirchhoff is lacking match fitness, but is available – expect him to be named on the bench.

Swansea

Ashley Williams, Lukasz Fabianski, Gylfi Sigurdsson and Andre Ayew are all expected to be recalled after sitting out their FA Cup defeat at League Two side Oxford United. Mini Lord Voldemort is no longer available after leaving to join Peter Pettigrew somewhere in Azkaban.

Form

Swansea

Sat 2nd Jan - Man Utd 2-1 Swansea

Mon 28th Dec - Crystal Palace 0-0 Swansea

Sat 26th Dec - Swansea 1-0 West Brom

Sun 20th Dec - Swansea 0-0 West Ham

Sat 12th Dec - Man City 2-1 Swansea

Sat 5th Dec - Swansea 0-3 Leicester


Sunderland

Sat 2nd Jan - Sunderland 3-1 Aston Villa

Wed 30th Dec - Sunderland 0-1 Liverpool

Sat 26th Dec - Man City 4-1 Sunderland

Sat 19th Dec - Chelsea 3-1 Sunderland

Sat 12th Dec - Sunderland 0-1 Watford

Sat 5th Dec - Arsenal 3-1 Sunderland

What The Managers Say

Alan Curtis

I wouldn't call it a must-win game at this stage, but we need to win games sooner rather than later.

We know the significance of picking up three points but we need to treat it like any other game and use our home advantage.

Sam Allardyce

As games tick by and you're still around in the bottom area of the Premier League, when you come across [relegation rivals], these games are the most important games to win in the season.


Last Ten League meetings

22nd Aug 2015 - Sunderland 1-1 Swansea City

7th Feb 2015 - Swansea City 1-1 Sunderland

27th Sep 2014 - Sunderland 0-0 Swansea City

11th May 2014 - Sunderland 1-3 Swansea City

19th Oct 2013 - Swansea City 4-0 Sunderland

29th Jan 2013 - Sunderland 0-0 Swansea City

1st Sep 2012 - Swansea City 2-2 Sunderland

21st Jan 2012 - Sunderland 2-0 Swansea City

27th Aug 2011 - Swansea City 0-0 Sunderland

19th Mar 1983 - Sunderland 1-1 Swansea City

Last Meeting

Last Corresponding Fixture

7th Feb 2015 - Swansea City 1-1 Sunderland

Stats 'n' Facts

Head-to-head

Six of the nine Premier League meetings between these sides have been draws, including the last three.

Swansea have lost just one of their last 15 league meetings with Sunderland (W6, D8).

Sunderland have never won in four Premier League trips to Swansea (D3, L1).

The Black Cats' last win at Swansea in any competition came in an old Division Two meeting in November 1963, the day after President Kennedy was shot.

Swansea City

Swansea won their first two home league games of the season but haven't won back-to-back league matches at the Liberty Stadium since then.

The Swans have scored just three goals in their last seven league games. They have failed to score in nine of their last sixteen Premier League matches.

There has not been a goal in the final fifteen minutes of a Premier League game at the Liberty Stadium this season. It's the only ground with that record.

Midfielder Leon Britton could make his 500th Swansea appearance.

Sunderland

Sunderland have picked up just four points in their last 11 Premier League away games (W1, D1, L9).

They have conceded 16 goals in their last five league away games, an average of 3.2 goals per game.

Jermain Defoe has scored both of Sunderland's goals in their last two Premier League meetings with Swansea.